SWO Success: Tristan Ackley, UW-Milwaukee Alum

Title: Global Content WriterTristan2

Where did you go to college?: University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee

How long have you been with SWO?: Since April 2013

What has been your career progression thus far?: Atypical. I started as the Global Content Writer, moved into the Senior Content Specialist, and recently became the global team lead of our Inbound Marketing project with the HubSpot marketing platform. But I’m still simply referred to as the Content Writer.

Favorite part about working at SWO: The culture. A fun activity is always on the docket at SWO, from cookouts, to volleyball leagues, to group runs, to riverboat tours – and of course our infamous annual National Sales Kickoffs (NSK) where the entire US personnel get together for a week’s worth of learning and camaraderie.

Tristan1
Enjoying a toast before the Awards Ceremony at one of our acclaimed NSK events.

But more importantly for career progression, SoftwareONE’s leaders are always looking for the next innovative idea. If you have a vision for a new initiative and can effectively communicate how it will differentiate SoftwareONE from the thicket of its competitors, people will listen and they will follow. Because in the end, SoftwareONE’s foundation is built on the premise of teamwork, so if you can add value to the team, then SWO will invest in you.

Biggest challenge you’ve faced at SWO: My background was in the humanities, so my first year at SoftwareONE was a challenge as I’ve never had an affinity toward the technical mindset. However, since my position was entirely new with very little preconceptions, I would soon find that I wasn’t being asked to shed my creative impromptus, but rather marry it with what was hoped/expected of the incumbent Content Writer. In other words, I was being groomed to help lead a new approach to the way we market the SoftwareONE brand.

I would later realize that this was precisely the vision SoftwareONE’s leaders were looking for in this position: an innovative approach to introducing the SoftwareONE brand to the digital landscape.

I’ve been given a unique opportunity to be a part of several different aspects of SoftwareONE over the course of my 2 ½ years. Working with a variety of departments in various countries enables me to observe the numerous gears that turn the SoftwareONE machine.

Finding my niche within the company as part of the global department was also another major hurdle. However, this challenge laid the foundation for tremendous personal and professional growth, as I have been able to forge friendships with remarkable people in every corner of the globe.

What is a typical day like for you?:  My typical day involves supporting my global colleagues with the content ammunition they need to help educate their customers on SoftwareONE’s brand and product.

I’m also constantly researching and connecting threads of interspersed ideas. Since Content Marketing is all about helping customers educate themselves with relevant information regarding their business challenges, it is imperative for me to understand SoftwareONE’s product and value proposition from a high level. Once I’ve concocted an idea, I then determine which SWO Subject Matter Expert can best speak toward that idea, and then help them extract their knowledge to provide insider expertise.

What activities do you enjoy in your spare time?: In order to spur inspiration, I need to do things which keep me healthy in mind, body, and spirit:

  • For the mind – Writing and reading on a myriad of topics, ranging from philosophy to Game of Thrones.
  • For the body – Mountain biking, paddleboarding, backpacking, and nearly every sport I can get my mitts on.
  • For the spirit – This is arguably the most essential, and likewise the most elusive. Stretching my comfort zone is imperative to maintaining a sense of forward momentum. As soon as life becomes routine, I feel suffocated, confined, and uninspired.

I’m also a proponent of linguistics and globalization, so I spend a lot of time dabbling with Duolingo to supplement my travel ambitions.

Favorite SWO Pun?: SWOmies, of course!

Where do you see yourself in 5 years: In 5 years, I expect to speak at least one language fluently outside of English, preferably three! I would also like to have published a book. Clearly, I need to be less optimistic in my lofty goals…

Advice to people interested in a SWO Career: Know your personality. Are you a strategic thinker looking to improve processes? Then we have several back-office support roles in need of a logician. Do you like to improvise and relish the art of competition? Then sales is always looking for a spirited competitor.

With so many different verticals to choose from, you’ll be hard-pressed to find something that doesn’t suit your personality. Just be ready to play as hard as you work!

So which is it– A strategic thinker or a competitor? Think about it, then act on it here.

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